Monday, November 14, 2016

Vendors and First Impression

Email received from a vendor:
Subject: Initial Reach Out
Wanted to quickly reach out because you visited the XXX booth at a recent conference.
Were you just swinging by to grab some goodies, or is there a chance you’re looking for new tools to protect your network?

My reply to vendor email:
As a consultant we are always trying to keep informed as to what is out there for our clients.  We are trusted advisors.

We do not drop by a booth just to pick up some goodies as I do not believe that is what the goodies are there for. Yes a lot of attendees will do that but unless we have had a conversation with someone at the booth we do not pick up stuff.
There are times that I think that vendors really need to think about what they are saying when they write an email to an attendee at a conference. The email that I received was from a vendor/booth that I did not get my name tag scanned at or leave a business card with. The vendor may have received my contact information from the registration for the conference but that was it.
There are a lot of people that go to conferences to just grab the free stuff that is being handed out but a vendor should never start out a first contact asking if the only reason I stopped by the booth was it to get the goodies. What else is interesting about this entire situation is that both my business partner and myself were are these conferences and I was the only one that received the email. Now, maybe it was because I replied as quickly as I did saying I wasn’t happy about the email. Maybe it was his contact information was lost in the pile or maybe it was because I am a female that I received this email. I will never know why I got the email and my business partner didn’t. What I do know is that if you are trying to make a good first contact you never mention the goodies.
There are a number of booths are conferences that we do not stop at because we know that they are not a fit for our business or our clients. If I didn’t stop by our booth don’t tell me that I did. If you received my contact from the registration list then just say “when you attended xxx conference”. Now the issue with using that list and saying you attended the conference is there are a lot of people that are unable to actually attend the event after registering so you are going to look bad again. If you have a scanner and are collecting who you actually talked to them yes you can mention about stopping by the booth but otherwise that is bad practice.
A vendor and the first impression can make a big difference if I will consider recommending them to a client or not. For this vendor, I can honestly say that I will not be recommending them to any of our clients and I can’t wait to go to one of our monthly meetings to see how else got this email. Some people will not have paid attention to it or the wording but I know some of them that if they did receive this email will not be happy.
For me the goodies are the various booths aren’t the reason that I stop at a booth. I am stopping at a booth to find out about a particular product or I can saying hi to someone that I know that is manning the booth. There are only so many pens, flash lights, umbrellas, etc that I can us and I don’t need any more of any of those.
Vendors if you really want to make a good first contact with me, remember, I may not have stopped by your booth, you may have received my name from the registration list and oh, I don’t stop by the booth just for your goodies.

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